Lauren Hart of Once Human

Beyond the Boys’ Club is a monthly column from journalist and radio host Anne Erickson, focusing on women in the heavy music genres, as they offer their perspectives on the music industry and discuss their personal experiences. Erickson is also a music artist herself, recently releasing the song “Eternal Way” with Upon Wings. This month’s piece features an interview with Lauren Hart of Once Human.

Once Human, a band featuring guitarist Logan Mader (ex-Machine Head) and vocalist Lauren Hart, have built a following with their passionate, pummeling style of heavy metal that’s not for the faint of heart.

Following their first two full-length album, 2015’s The Life I Remember and 2017’s EvolutionOnce Human are back with the recently released Scar Weaver. The set sees Hart exploring her clean singing voice, with powerful, emotive vocals that curl around heavy guitars.

For Heavy Consequence‘s latest edition of “Beyond the Boys’ Club,” Hart spoke with us about the new Once Human album, how she benefitted from touring with the power metal band Kamelot, her experience recording during lockdown, being a woman in metal music, and more. Read the full interview below.

Congratulations on Once Human’s new album, Scar Weaver. How would you say this LP differs from the band’s previous efforts?

I think what makes it very different is that the style of vocals have changed and evolved in a way, and I think that’s due to all the touring I did with Kamelot. They really helped me develop my singing. Another thing is that Max Karon, our guitarist, wrote 100-percent of the music on this album and was given the opportunity to be 100-percent himself and express himself fully as an artist. So, he took it, and I think the music is a little bit more of Max’s brain, which is quirky and amazing. It’s slightly different, but because of Max, it’s a very familiar sound, as well.

Was writing and recording Scar Weaver influenced at all by the pandemic?

We had an album finished before the pandemic, but if you give me extra time, I’m going to take it, because I’m a perfectionist! So, it’s terrible as a perfectionist, because you rewrite and rewrite, so obviously the alum changed a lot during the pandemic. Maybe I wanted to rewrite my lyrics, because my energy was different because times were changing. Things got darker, so the lyrics did, as well.

You sound very comfortable on this album. Do you feel confident, now more than ever, in the lead vocalist role?

Thank you! I’m definitely more comfortable in the clean signing, because that’s what I did with Kamelot, and doing that on stage every night helped me grow in myself. Before then, I wasn’t that sure about my clean singing. I was inexperienced and unsure if I was good. I was always comparing myself to other people and thinking, I’m not really a singer- maybe screaming is what I should stick to. But, after Kamelot, I realized that I have my own sound and tone and I developed that. I think I stopped comparing myself to others. So, I’m much more confident because there’s more experience there.

A highlight of the new Once Human album is “Deadlock,” featuring a vocal spot from Machine Head’s Robb Flynn. How did that come together?

This terrible was pandemic happening, and everything was dark and heavy, but working with Robb is one of the things that helped me look on the bright side of things, because good things can still happen in the worst situations. I don’t think Robb would have had time to cooperate if it weren’t for the situation. We thought of Robb for this song, because of the style. It’s kind of nu-metal and sounded like something he would be amazing on. We sent it to him and didn’t think anything would come of it, because he hasn’t done many guest features. We sent it, and he loved it, and we were ecstatic.

Do you feel that you have had to work harder as a woman to gain acceptance in the metal world?

I always have felt accepted. I mean, there’s always been a few people, and there will be bad comments from people when you meet people at the merch booth or whatever, but you’re not going to be able to please everyone. But, there was a turning point within myself. When I started in Once Human, I dressed myself down. I wore no makeup and jeans and didn’t want people to look at me as a chick- I just wanted people to listen to the music and not really look at me. I don’t know if I was hiding myself, but again, I have to thank Kamelot. I’ve been able to come out of my shell, and I’m not afraid to wear a dress onstage and makeup and do my hair and look nice. But, there was a big change in myself.

What advice would you have for young women looking to get into metal music?

How I got started is that I bought a cheap guitar and amp and started filming myself playing, and that’s how I ended up meeting people. The internet is great, and bad, too. It’s great for connecting with a lot of different people in the industry. You can upload a video of yourself singing or playing or doing whatever you do, and you get a platform and learn by doing it. You also grow at the same time that you’re networking. The internet is great for discovering musicians. Big bands, to this day, look on the internet for someone to fill the spot of a musician. So, film yourself. If you want to be a guitar player, learn guitar. Get really good at your craft.

Leave a Comment